New Jersey Current Building Codes

New Jersey building codes are a set of stringent regulations that govern all aspects of construction, ensuring safety, structural integrity, and energy efficiency in the state. From residential homes to commercial structures, these codes dictate everything from design and materials to inspections and permits. Staying well-versed in New Jersey’s building codes is essential for architects, builders, and property owners to create secure and compliant structures.

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Current Commercial Code

Uniform Construction Code (NJAC 5:23-3.18)
Based on ASHRAE 90.1-2013
Passed 9/21/2015, effective 3/21/2016

Current Residential Code

Uniform Construction Code (NJAC 5:23-3.18)
Based on the 2015 IECC
Passed 9/21/2015, effective 3/21/2016

Climate Zones: 4A, 5A

Code Adoption and Change Process

Code Change Process

Legislative and Regulatory Process: The New Jersey Uniform Construction Code Act stipulates that model codes and standards publications not be adopted more frequently than once every three years. The Commissioner of Community Affairs may make an amendment if it is found that an imminent peril exists to the public’s health, safety, or welfare, or that the current code is contrary to the intent of the legislation mandating the code. The Department of Community Affairs (DCA) itself does not have the legislative authority to amend the code to include new material from codes not yet adopted.

Code Change Cycle

The three-year code cycle is concurrent with the publication of new editions of the model codes.

Next Code Update



January 2013 The implementation of duct testing requirements is delayed until this date.
September 7, 2010 A DCA final rule adopting new state building codes is published in the New Jersey Register (42 N.J.R. 2043a) and becomes effective.

The energy subcode of the New Jersey Uniform Construction Code is amended to incorporate the 2009 IECC and ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2007 (in lieu of Chapter 5 of the IECC). There will be a six-month transition period during which builders may use the new construction codes edition or the previous one. The implementation of duct testing requirements is delayed until January 2013.

This rule had been set to become effective on February 1, 2010, but on January 20, newly-inaugurated Gov. Chris Christie signed Executive Order 1, freezing the implementation of all proposed rules for 90 days pending review by the new administration. Further delays stalled the update from the previous state energy code based on the 2006 IECC and Standard 90.1-2004.

September 8, 2009 DCA proposes a rule (41 NJR 3140a) amending the energy subcode of the New Jersey Uniform Construction Code (NJAC 5.23-3.18) to incorporate the 2009 IECC and ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2007.
August 2009 DCA issues a request for public comments on its proposed adoption of the 2009 International Code series, including the 2009 IECC and ASHRAE 90.1-2007.
August 6, 2009 Governor John Corzine signs S. 702 into law, authorizing the state Department of Community Affairs (DCA) to amend the State Uniform Construction Code’s energy subcode. Normally, any efforts to upgrade or amend the codes must proceed through the codes office at DCA, a codes advisory board, the DCA itself, and finally through the state legislature.

Under the bill, the IECC would be added as one of the model code alternatives to be used as a basis of the energy subcode. The energy subcode may be amended or supplemented by the DCA once before 2012 without regard to the statutory three-year minimum interval between the adoption of an energy subcode and the adoption of a revision of that subcode. In amending the subcode, DCA shall rely upon 10-year energy price projections provided by an institution of higher education within one year following the effective date of the bill, and thereafter at three year intervals.

February 20, 2007 New Jersey adopts the 2006 IECC with amendments. As the new commercial code, ASHRAE/IESNA 90.1-2004 is adopted with minor amendments. For both residential and commercial code compliance, either the previous code or the new code can be used during a six month interim period.
October 23, 2006 Legislation to promote energy efficiency and conservation in buildings (A 3595) is introduced. It would authorize the Commissioner of Community Affairs to amend the Uniform Construction Code’s energy subcode to establish enhanced energy-saving construction requirements. This bill is signed into passed on June 21, 2007. Language in the legislation directs the Commissioner of the Department of Community Affairs to publish a green building manual to provide a baseline for the construction of buildings that “significantly reduce or eliminate the negative impact of buildings on the environment and their occupants (C.52:27D‐130.6).”
January 1, 1977 The Uniform Construction Code Regulations (NJAC 5:23-1 et seq.) go into effect. The New Jersey Uniform Construction Code is divided into subcodes (model codes and standards) that are adopted individually by the Commissioner of Community Affairs. The energy subcode contains the energy provisions.
October 7, 1975 The state passes the New Jersey Uniform Construction Code Act, which will become effective on February 3, 1976. All construction codes and their enforcement are controlled by the provisions stated in the act.


Robert Austin
Construction Official
New Jersey Division of Community Affairs

Lou Mraw
Supervisor of Enforcement
Office of Regulatory Affairs
Division of Community Affairs

Carolyn Sarno Goldthwaite
Senior Program Manager
High Performance Buildings
Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships (NEEP)

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